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Axel Springer AG
Type Public (FWB: SPR)
Founded 1946/47 by Axel Springer
Headquarters Berlin, Germany
Key people Mathias Döpfner, Chief Executive Officer
Industry Publishing
Products magazines
Employees 10,000 (2006)

Axel Springer AG is one of the largest newspaper publishing companies in Europe, having over 150 newspapers and magazines in over 30 countries, including several Central and Eastern European countries: Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Russia and western European countries: Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, more than 10,000 employees with annual revenues and income on the scale of 1 billion. It was started in 1946/1947 by journalist Axel Springer.[1] Its current CEO is Mathias Döpfner. The Axel Springer company is the largest publishing house in Europe and controls the largest share of the German market for daily newspapers; 23.6%.[2]


Newspapers, magazines, products

  • Die Welt, the intellectual flagship of the company
  • Bild, newspaper with the largest circulation in Europe
  • Auto Bild, automobile magazine with the largest circulation in Europe
  • Audio Video Foto Bild
  • Computer Bild, published in nine countries, is Europe's best-selling computer magazine
  • Sport Bild, published in many countries, is Europe's biggest sport magazine
  •, the biggest Czech internet car portal including, starting in Slovakia and Poland as well
  • Fakt, the biggest daily tabloid in Poland
  • Hamburger Abendblatt
  • Berliner Morgenpost
  • B.Z.
  • Hörzu
  • Dziennik, the intellectual flagship of the company in Poland
  • Musikexpress, a monthly music magazine

Corporate principles

The five socio-political preambles that were written by Axel Springer in 1967, amended in 1990 following German reunification and supplemented in 2001 are part of the articles of association of Axel Springer AG. They paint a liberal picture of the world.

  1. To uphold liberty and law in Germany, a country belonging to the Western family of nations, and to further the unification of Europe.
  2. To promote reconciliation of Jews and Germans and support the vital rights of the State of Israel.
  3. To support the Transatlantic Alliance, and solidarity with the United States of America in the common values of free nations.
  4. To reject all forms of political extremism.
  5. To uphold the principles of a free social market economy. The corporate constitution defines fundamental sociopolitical convictions but does not offer opinions.[3]
Side view of the Axel Springer building in Berlin.

The Axel Springer AG is criticized by German leftists and Muslims[4] especially because it openly supports Israel. The Axel Springer AG is the only German publishing house which refused to publish the advertising campaign of the Left Party in 2005.[5]

Major competitors in the German publishing market include Bauer Verlag, Bertelsmann, Hubert Burda Media and Holtzbrinck.


In the 1960s and 1970s the company was target for a number of left-wing groups. It was denounced by German-American writer Reinhard Lettau in an incendiary speech at the Freie Universität Berlin; in 1968 their Berlin headquarters was blockaded by students; in 1972 the Red Army Faction claimed responsibility from six bombs placed in the Hamburg building (only three exploded and 17 people were injured)[6]; and in 1975 a bomb exploded in their Paris office, the "6th of March Group" (connected to the Red Army Faction) claimed responsibility.

Axel Springer ran a major newspaper he founded in Germany that the Nazis shut down during the war. Springer never left Germany and was not sent to a concentration camp. After the war, he relaunched his publishing venture, turning it into Axel Springer AG, and became a major supporter of Israel.

See also


  1. ^ Axel Springer AG: At a glance
  2. ^ Kleinsteuber H.J in Kelly.M, Mazzoleni.G and McQuail.D eds. 2004 "The Media in Europe. The Euromedia Handbook."
  3. ^ Corporate Principles, Values and Guidelines of Axel Springer AG
  4. ^ German: Springer is a speaking tube of zionist interests
  5. ^ German: Springer-Press boycotts Left Party
  6. ^

External links



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